This is the first ever moving picture image of a kiss. It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. There is a longer Edison film of a kiss, filmed in 1900, that has at times been confused with this one.
OTHER TITLES May Irwin kiss / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. ; producer, New York world.
CREATED/PUBLISHED United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1896.
SUMMARY From Maguire & Baucus catalogue: An osculatory performance by May Irwin and John Rice. The most popular subject ever shown.
From Edison films catalog: By May Irwin and John Rice. They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time. 50 feet. 7.50.
NOTES Copyright: no reg.
May Irwin (Beatrice Byke), John C. Rice (Billy Bilke).
Camera, William Heise.
Duration: 0:18 at 30 fps.
Scene from the New York stage comedy, The widow Jones, in which Irwin and Rice starred. According to Edison film historian C. Musser, the actors staged their kiss for the camera at the request of the New York world newspaper, and the resulting film was the most popular Edison Vitascope film in 1896.
Filmed April 1896, in Edison's Black Maria studio.
Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 197-99; Maguire & Baucus. Edison and international photographic films catalogue, April 1897, p. 11 [MI]; Edison films catalog, no. 105, July 1901, p. 70 [MI].
MEDIUM 1 reel of 1 (ca. 34 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. ref print.
CALL NUMBER no shelf no.
REPOSITORY Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
DIGITAL ID edmp 4038 urn:hdl:loc.mbrsmi/edmp.4038 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mbrsmi/edmp.4038
Irwin, May, cast.
Rice, John C., cast.
Heise, William, camera.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress)